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Reports: Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin appears ‘half-naked’ in bizarre photo since aborted mutiny

An unusual photograph of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, has been circulating on Telegram channels and Twitter. The undated image, initially shared by a Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel, shows Prigozhin sitting half-naked inside a tent. In the photo, he can be seen waving to the camera, seemingly unfazed by his state of undress, and wearing only a beige T-shirt and underwear. This is the first image of Prigozhin since his announcement of a coup against the Kremlin on June 24, which was met with growing discontent among top Russian defense officials.

The motive behind the sharing of the image remains unclear, but reports speculate that it is part of a campaign to undermine and embarrass the once-feared leader of the Wagner group. The Belarusian Gayun Monitoring Group suggests that the photograph may have been taken earlier in the week in Osipovichi, Belarus, where Prigozhin was exiled after his failed mutiny in Moscow.

According to The Mirror, the image may have been taken on July 12, a day after a plane belonging to Prigozhin reportedly flew to Belarus for the third time. Subsequently, two helicopters flew to Osipovichi. However, the following day, Prigozhin’s plane returned to St. Petersburg, indicating that he may have been there to inspect a new camp.

Around the time the image was first posted, analysts and individuals close to Prigozhin speculated, in a report by the Financial Times, that he had been granted time to conclude his business in Russia before settling in Belarus. On July 14, the Kremlin announced its intention to review the legal status of Wagner and similar groups, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that the failed mutiny did not legally “exist” since there is no Russian law governing private military companies.

The recent photograph emerges after six photos of Prigozhin in various disguises and ill-fitting wigs were leaked to the media. Russian media outlets also reported on a raid of Prigozhin’s home in St. Petersburg, during which officials allegedly discovered numerous wigs and photographs of Prigozhin in different disguises.


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